Big Data in law

What are the potential applications of Big Data in law? 

Big Data has been used in other sectors for some time, serving to identify trends and forecast future market developments and consumer behaviour.

For law firms, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to enhance efficiency and productivity whilst standing apart from competition and delivering an excellent client service.

This is where Big Data comes in; providing firms with opportunities to take an analytical approach as to how to stay ahead of the curve. Below are some key applications of Big Data within the legal sector:

Determine profitability of cases 

As part of the research stage, substantial amounts of files and other relevant information from previous cases – often going back years – needs to be collated and organised into meaningful analysis. Making use of Big Data means this can be analysed instantly, serving to identify any correlations and leading to new insights and perspectives that may not have been previously considered.

Additionally, algorithms can offer predictions on cases based upon the results of similar cases, quickly determining whether it’s worth taking or not and ultimately increasing the chances of selecting a successful case.

Increase productivity 

Big Data can be a great way to obtain visibility of a practice as a whole. Partners and senior managers are able to see what tasks fee earners and support staff are spending time on, and compare the rate of those tasks to the amount of revenue they generate.

By understanding the productivity of staff, it can enable firms to change how they operate, or if necessary, the role of each employee, to ensure efficiencies are enhanced and maintained.

Recognise trends 

Nowadays many firms have a fully integrated CRM system within their legal software; however, with multiple channels now available for clients to ‘shop around’ before instructing a practice, it can be difficult for firms to truly pin-point where potential clients are coming from.

By combining web analytics with results of marketing campaigns, incoming enquiries and new instructions, law firms can now receive a holistic overview of how their potential clients are interacting with them, and via which channel. Using this in-depth analysis, management can then tailor any future business development strategies to ensure marketing messages are successful in obtaining conversions.

To conclude, investing in Big Data and analytics can – and will – make a significant difference to law firms and their success rates, including substantial savings in time and costs, and an increase in operational efficiencies.